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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

#ARMME with More School Counselors

The Florida School Counselor Association expands the image and influence of school counselors through advocacy, leadership, collaboration and system change at the state level.
Friday, February 23, 2018, Governor Scott proposed an action plan to keep Florida students safe following the shootings in Parkland, Florida.  The action plan includes proposed legislation to keep guns out of the hands of violent people, increased mental health initiatives, and funding for school safety to include required access to dedicated mental health counselors to provide direct counseling services to students at every school.
School counselors are trained to recognize preK -12 students’ mental health needs, deliver preventative curriculum to all students, and work collaboratively with mental health agencies and personnel in our communities. We offer our support to the Governor’s plan and as frontline interventionists, play an essential role in addressing mental health and student safety. During the next week, legislators will be making critical decisions on the funding and implementation of this proposed plan.  It is crucial that ALL Florida School Counselors connect with legislators and state leaders.   This link will help you find contact information for your Senate and House legislators.
It would be ideal for you to call your legislators and tell them directly about the role you play in supporting student development and the need for 80% of your time to be spent in direct service to students.  (See the Talking Points document.)
If that’s not possible, then send your legislators an email or a letter. FSCA leaders have written sample templates that you can copy and modify as needed.  Sample SC Ltr is specific to school counselors.  If you are an advocate of school counseling, use either Advocate Ltr #1 or Advocate Ltr #2
We are also organizing a DAY ON THE HILL in Tallahassee for Wednesday, March 7th.  Our 2018 School Counselor of the Year, Larissa Bennett, will receive the Governor’s Shine Award at 9:00 a.m. and we will visit legislative offices during the remainder of the day with a planned departure time of 3:00 p.m. Please let us know if you can attend so we can help in coordinating carpooling and planned visits to legislative offices. If you can attend, please contact Dr. Rebecca Schumacher at fsca@fla-schoolcounselor.org.  
We will continue to provide updates on proposed legislation and ask that you continue to advocate for our profession by contacting your representatives in the Senate and the House to develop relationships and share what school counselors do and the impact we have on student achievement and success in school and life.
Questions?
Please contact Advocacy Chair, Dr. Summer Kuba, at summerkuba4@gmail.com, Executive Director, Dr. Rebecca Schumacher at fsca@fla-schoolcounselor.org, or Governing Board Chair, Beth Jenkins at chair@fla-schoolcounselor.org.

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